The Twilight of the Bombs

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104 Ratings

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4 out of 5 stars
By Richard on 21-10-10

Definitive Series ends with warnings but also Hope

I started with his first book, "The Making of the Atomic Bomb", which earned Rhodes a Pulitzer. It's still my favorite, but the entire series comprises a mini-education in history, diplomacy, science, war, politics, human nature, and a touch of philosophy. Rhodes' gift is his ability to tackle very complex topics across multiple domains to tell compelling stories, lucidly, authoritatively, and concisely. His objectivity and clarity are important elements in his writing of history. If you're interested in history, science, nuclear power, poly-sci, WW-II, start with "The Making of the Atomic Bomb" and go through the series. You'll feel like you took a graduate course in several subjects.

If you want an update on the state of affairs in nuclear weapons, terrorism, post-Cold-War politics, Iraq, Iran, N. Korea, the book offers plenty. I particularly value the stories behind the scenes of how dedicated professionals, civil servants, and a former president made the world a safer place, without fanfare. These people deserve to be recognized. I'd recommend this book to anyone interested in these topics, but, if you're not, it will bore you...just being honest. Even if you are interested, there's some rough going with an alphabet soup of treaties & organizations. The book is scholarly, after all. While it stands on its own, it's also the culmination of serious work accomplished in his three prior books.

Rhodes has taken tons of raw sensitive data & material from around the world and, like the processes used in nuclear enrichment, he produced highly enriched intellectual material, suitable for a long slow burn or a flash of enlightenment. (sorry :-) I recommend starting with, "The Making of the Atomic Bomb", but if you want to go to the present, you won't be disappointed.

Richard Rhodes has accomplished more than writing good history. He has contributed much needed understanding and opportunities for dialogue. He has also now become part of the story.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By jeffrey on 17-01-11

The power of the gods....

Before I read this book, I want to say that The Making of the Atomic Bomb is the book you must read. It is unabridged here with a different context/spin. I found myself with this book last winter and could not put it down......the depth of what went on in Los alamos and in Chicago and in dc is mind boggling....who were the people working on this program and what we their thoughts on atomic, you did not get a review of the book in question yet, and after I have listened, I'll return here for another review. The book downloads in two parts, so it will be a while. If you are new to this, please try to find The Making of the Atomic Bomb.....your understanding of the world in crisis will jump one thousand percent......

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Milford Cubicle on 02-05-16

Another excellent book by Richard Rhodes

This is the final book in Rhodes' series of 4 books about nuclear arms development, history and policy. I've enjoyed each one - learning new elements of history, people and politics involved in what must be one of the most frightening developments of the 20th century.

Rhodes' research and insight is excellent as always and Robertson Dean's narration is excellent - Clarity, pace and pronunciation are flawless. After listening to a few books narrated by R. Dean I now seek out more, finding his narration superior to many others I've heard.

Highly recommended.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Konstantinos on 19-03-12

4th is a charm for Richard Rhodes !!!

If you could sum up The Twilight of the Bombs in three words, what would they be?

Informative, great story telling with footnotes n Robertson Dean makes it interesting with military like use of word........ just as inside delta force.

1. Great details on dying empire fmr USSR
2. Correct 110% on US State dept affairs says something else does the other way

What did you like best about this story?

role of James Baker

What about Robertson Dean’s performance did you like?


Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I already most from reading classified n unclassified docs within state dept n cia DO n DI due to security access as senior operations officer counter intelligence said to say our country has turned into a police state n democracy is just a front.

Any additional comments?

awesome closing from birth of atoms bombs to peace times 2012.....

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2 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 21-09-17

scary and hopeful

many of rhodes books should be mandatory reading for people in power.
forgetting the price of playing the nuclear game, can only result in utter destruction of life and morals!
and this book shines a light on the danger seven billion people live with.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Jonathan R. Zeko on 28-05-17

Another spectacular history by Pulitzer winning Richard Rhodes

This book is essential reading for anyone who cares about the future of the world where nuclear weapons still remain abundant.

Rhodes' research is impeccable, and his writing style flows like water. There is probably no author who knows more about the subject of nuclear weapons than Rhodes.

The narrator, Robertson Dean, has a rich voice and reads the story at a very good but varied pace. I feel like Dean always takes time to learn the subject matter of the books he reads so that he understands the nomenclature and makes his reading a "performance."

Well done to the author and the narrator!

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